Archive for Food and Dining

Ever Wonder About the Value of Marketing?

Ever wonder about the value of marketing?

Well, you’re not alone.

Last week, I saw an example of best marketing practices in action—at the Portland, Oregon, airport. We were in between flights from Medford to Spokane with some time to enjoy. We happened past the Made in Oregon store, where there was a wine-tasting in progress.

We tried some terrific wines and developed a nice rapport with the person pouring wine—I’ll call her the brand ambassador. She told us she had earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University). A self-described hippie, she loves Ashlandand she would be happy to come to our house and do a full-blown wine-tasting event!

“WOW!” we said. “You’ve got a deal.”

Waiting for the connection to Spokane, we spent 20 minutes coming up with the perfect guest list. Let’s do it when my parents are visiting from New York. That would be fun. Who do we want them to meet? Who do we know that loves wine? Hmm … it’s an easy list to make.

Then we started thinking about marketing. And how powerful a brand ambassador can be.

This brand ambassador is going to travel from Eugene to Ashland to entertain and delight a party of wine and food aficionados. She will probably pour six bottles of wine during the tasting plus another six during the meal. We will pay for some of it. She will leave the party with orders from our guests—maybe up to 20 cases of wine. Not much of a return for the cost of it all, you say? Well, think about the lifetime value of a customer.

I’ve learned a customer’s value should be measured over their lifetime. That’s calculated by initial purchase, subsequent purchases and influence on others’ purchases. This is a little hard to measure, but it’s important to attempt a rough estimate. And don’t forget the concept of brand loyalty. You know what it is. You have it. We all do.

Think about this: our new friend Shelley, the brand ambassador from Willamette Winery, will travel to our house from Eugene and pour wine for 20 of our foodie friends to get an initial order of possibly 20 cases and 20 new customers, who will tell their friends and become like brand ambassadors themselves.

To me, that sounds like good marketing. What do you think?

I love examples of good marketing practices in action. What’s your favorite? Please share here and visit Capiche’s Facebook page, too.

Take a 75% Pay Cut? Are You Kidding?

Chinese Lanterns

Last week while visiting Eugene, my friend and I were craving Chinese food. We checked Yelp and found the highest-ranking Chinese restaurant. Driving there in the rain, we were hoping the food would be good. We love Chinese food—good Chinese food.

The restaurant didn’t look like much from the outside. It was small, located in a strip mall. But when we walked into the restaurant, we were encouraged to see an older Chinese couple at a large table by the door. We hoped this was a sign that the food would be authentic. Also at the table were three young children and a woman in her 30s.

The food was delicious and the service top-notch. The waiter was energetic and had a show-stopping smile. He brought a sense of joy to the dining room as he made sure all the patrons were enjoying their meals. After observing the sweet interactions between the waiter and the children at the large table, we asked him if those were his children. Yes they were, he beamed, and he proceeded to point out all of his family members at that table—his children, wife and parents. His sister was just joining them.

He then said, “I took at 75 percent pay cut to come home to Eugene to be with my family.” Wow!

“I was a desk monkey at Nike and had successfully climbed the corporate ladder, and I thought I had to keep climbing because that’s just what you do,” he said. “But then one day, I realized I wasn’t happy.”

He said he didn’t get to spend much time with his young family. He missed his parents and siblings. So he quit his high-paying, high-prestige career to move “home” to Eugene and wait tables at his family restaurant.

At first it was scary to take such a pay cut, to take such a risk, he said. But then he thought about the risk his parents took when they emigrated from China when he and his two siblings were young children. They weren’t sure what the US would be like, but they had faith that they could have a better life. Beloved by many, the restaurant they started is now the highest-ranked Chinese restaurant in Eugene, and it’s a place for family to come together.

Taking that risk, he said, was the best decision he has ever made. He is secure in his conviction that being with his family is more important than money and status—it’s what truly makes him happy and fulfilled. And you can tell by his smile.

What makes you happy and fulfilled? What would you do to find true happiness? Coaching can help you discover these answers. Call me at 541.601.0114 or email me if you’re interested in an exploratory coaching session. Let’s see just how rich your life can be.